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Old 11-11-2011, 05:24 PM   #151
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
There's a post where he says it's not about blending. There are numerous posts where his says it is not about the relationship between Uke and Nage (i.e. blending) but about what he calls body conditioning and power (both terms that he and others refuse to define). I suppose I could dig up all these quotes and then put them in a post if it would be helpful.
It would be very helpful if you would at least provide an antecedent for "it." Do you mean aiki, or aikido? Or something else?

Remember that, in Dan's view, aiki is an independent concept, and can be developed totally outside of the aikido context. Whether you agree with him or not, that's the way *he* thinks. So if you're going to critique his statements, it's only fair that you be very clear about what he actually said.

Katherine
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:25 PM   #152
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
So, Chris, you are admitting that O'Sensei was religious? Possession by Kami is religious. It's so hard to follow what you people believe. It seems to keep changing.
I've never said that he wasn't religious, and neither has Dan, to my knowledge. Dan has expressed some skepticism towards the argument that his martial power stemmed from his religious practices - but that's pretty much the extent of it.

My point wasn't that I must believe in possession - but that you must, if any statement by Ueshiba is to be taken as an absolute truth.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:26 PM   #153
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

This is very confusing. Dan and Matt and others have argued the opposite of what you are arguing:

1) they've argued that there is no difference between Aiki and Aikido. Thus Dan calls it Aiki Do. Thus they claim that Aikido is just another name for the Aiki taken from Takeda.

3) These folks have argue that there is no difference between O'Sensei's teaching before the war and after the war. Notice the comments earlier by Chris about Saito Sensei and the book Budo.

It is very unusual to ban photos and videos from seminars. Without these all we can go by are the words that Dan and others have written. If we weren't supposed to debate their ideas why did they post them in a discussion forum? I have tried very hard to follow the arguments they are making. I'm good at doing that, by the way, I teach people how to do this at the highest levels. My initial posts asking for clarification were met with indignation and demands that I read all the old posts. I did. They are confusing and hard to read. I said so. I was asked to post specific question (it wasn't my idea) and I did so. The questions were not answered. They were reasonable questions. Then the insults started.

Now you claim I'm following the doctrine of my organization blindly. Others have argue that I fail to understand the teachings of Saotome Sensei. How can both be true? For the record, I don't follow anything blindly. That's why I'm asking such hard questions here. For Dan to be right, O'Sensei had to be senile, or else he had to be mistranslated AND his direct students had to be lying about what he taught them, Etc. That'a a hard pill to swallow without something more than what has been presented as evidence.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Here are some simple facts for consideration:

1. There is a difference between Aiki and Aikido - Dan does not teach Aikido, but his does teach ways to develop Aiki.

2. There is a difference between external blending with energy and internal blending with energy - Dan does not teach external blending.

3. There is a difference between Ueshiba's teachings before and after the war - Dan's training is more aligned to his before war stuff.

4. As far as translations go, Dan and Chris have access to some original materiel that when viewed within the proper context is very revealing as to what was truly meant - and as Chis stated, it is not necessary what was mistranslated, but more of what was left out of a translation because the translator could not comprehend the applied context.

Bottom line here is that you are a mid level instructor in an American Aikido organization and you have been following the doctrine of your organization religiously. Then along come some folks indicating there may be more to your art that has been lost over the years - you take that as an insult and come swinging in here with your own insults calling us cowards and accusing us of commercialism. Some folks try to explain to you that is not true and recommenced you go back and do some more research on the topic, etc. You do some modicum of research and come back here with the same accusations and insults - if you truly had any clue as to the nature of the people you are accusing here, you would clearly see has laughable your assertions are, as I am sure those that do know us are doing reading your posts - if any commercialism is going on here it is from your position since you need to maintain your student base and you probably can't do that unless you attack any perceived challenges to the basis of your Aikido system. For the record, there is no Dan organization, there are no Dan membership fees, this is no rank, and absolutely NO ONE is making any money from any training activities with Dan - period!

So you don't agree with what Dan and some of the rest of us say - well, OK - move on and do your own thing - we really don't care - your loss not ours.

FWIW

Greg
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #154
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I've never said that he wasn't religious, and neither has Dan, to my knowledge. Dan has expressed some skepticism towards the argument that his martial power stemmed from his religious practices - but that's pretty much the extent of it.

My point wasn't that I must believe in possession - but that you must, if any statement by Ueshiba is to be taken as an absolute truth.

Best,

Chris
Hello? Give me a few minutes. I'll dig up the quotes.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #155
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Hi folks,

Please watch the tone of your posts to make sure that we're still engaging in a civil and respectful manner.

Also, rather than discussing the person behind the topic, please make sure to keep your discussion on the topic itself.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:49 PM   #156
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Dan, you again claim not to be engaging with me, yet you do. I have not ranted, I have asked questions. I have quoted O'Sensei in doing so. You, Matt, and Chris, and others, have not responded to any of the counter-evidence that I have provided. If I have misrepresented anything you said, please clarify. I went to the trouble to read all your old posts in an honest attempt to follow the argument you are making. It's just not clear what you are claiming.
Anyone can answer these for you.

Are you against the cooperative training approach? Cooperative training, no. Training where, for instance, someone does a shomenuchi and you make the movements of a technique and they fall, yes, definitely.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was against the cooperative training approach? see above.

Do you claim that there is no difference between Ju Jitsu and Aikido? Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu, not really no.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was not religious? no

Do you claim that no students of O'Sensei can do the Aikido that O'Sensei was showing them and wanted them to do? If some could do it please indicate which ones. - how many of them can do what he could do? Only a handful of his students seem to have been particularly respected for their skills.

Do you claim that Aikido does not work by blending with energy? - blending with energy inside yourself, sure. The twirly external stuff, only to a certain degree and I would consider it low probability and this from someone who has used it in real fights.

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

To the extent that any of these claims are claims that you make, how do you reconcile them with the quotes I have provided from O'Sensei that seem to contradict them? - This type of training has done nothing but open my eyes to the things he said. I've seen no contradictions.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #157
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Maybe some of you guys should watch the following :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQd_kBse-c&feature=fvst

Pay careful attention to around 2:00 to 2:40 (you may have to watch this a few times)...then think about what you know..or don't...

This is not to insult current teachers but to give Ueshiba the correct level of respect.
Nice video... what was the instruction by O'Sensei to the Ukes? Do we know? Was it "Push with all your strength?" or was it "Keep hold of the Jo under all circumstances!" The latter of which sounds more plausible to me and might explain the twitching movements of the Ukes.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #158
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

I am going to respond within the quoted text in bold:

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Anyone can answer these for you.

Are you against the cooperative training approach? Cooperative training, no. Training where, for instance, someone does a shomenuchi and you make the movements of a technique and they fall, yes, definitely.

HERE WORD FAIL US. I AGREE THAT UKE CAN BE TOO COOPERATIVE. I SUSPECT THAT WHAT YOU MEAN IS THAT UKE SHOULD NOT FALL UNLESS THROWN BY NAGE. HERE I DISAGREE. I DO SO BECAUSE OF WHAT O'SENSEI SAID. HOW DO YOU RECONSILE THIS WHITH THE QUOTES I PROVIDED AND THE INTERVIEWS I PROVIDED IN WHICH O'SENSEI ADVOCATED FOR HEALTHFUL COOPERATIVE TRAINING AND ARGUE THAT THIS WAS PART OF HIS SYSTEM? THAT IS, IN YOUR ATTEMPTS TO MAKE THE TRAINING MORE "REALISTIC" AND COMPETITIVE, YOU UNDERMINE THE TRAINING PROCESS THAT O'SENSEI DESCRIBED.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was against the cooperative training approach? see above.

NOT AN ANSWER. THAT YOU DON'T LIKE IT DOES NOT INDICATE THAT O'SENSEI DID NOT WANT IT.

Do you claim that there is no difference between Ju Jitsu and Aikido? Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu, not really no.

O'SENSEI SAID THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE. SOME PEOPLE SUPPORTING DAN HAVE SAID THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE. SO I'M NOT SURE IF YOUR VIEW WOULD BE SHARED BY DAN. PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW HIM HAVE DIFFERENT TAKES ON THIS, IT SEEMS. BUT HOW DO YOU RECONSILE YOUR VIEW WITH WHAT O'SENSEI HIMSELF SAID ABOUT AIKIDO BEING A NEW ART?

Do you claim that O'Sensei was not religious? no

DAN AND OTHERS HAVE CLAIMED THAT THERE WAS NOT A RELIGIOUS BASIS IN O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO. THEY MAY BE RIGHT OBJECTIVELY. IT'S HARD TO PROVE OR DISPROVE RELIGIOUS IDEAS. BUT O'SENSEI ABSOLUTELY ATTRIBUTED RELIGIOUS BELIEFS TO HIS AIKIDO. TAKE MUSO AIKI HAS RELIGIOUS AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, AS FAR AS O'SENSEI WAS CONCERNED. I'VE ALREADY PROVIDED AMBLE EVIDENCE FOR THIS. WHY DO THEY IGNORE THE EVIDENCE I'VE PRESENTED?

Do you claim that no students of O'Sensei can do the Aikido that O'Sensei was showing them and wanted them to do? If some could do it please indicate which ones. - how many of them can do what he could do? Only a handful of his students seem to have been particularly respected for their skills.

THIS IS NOT AN ANSWER.

Do you claim that Aikido does not work by blending with energy? - blending with energy inside yourself, sure. The twirly external stuff, only to a certain degree and I would consider it low probability and this from someone who has used it in real fights.

DAN HAS ARGUED, IT SEEMS, THAT ALL EXTERNAL BLENDING IS FAKE. I SEE EXTERNAL BLENDING AT TIMES WITH O'SENSEI AND I'VE BEEN TAUGHT EXTERNAL BLENDING. I'M NOT AGAINST INTERNAL UNBALANCING WORK. BUT IT SEEMS THAT BOTH ARE REVEALED IN O'SENSEI. HOW IS NO TOUCH THROWING, FOR EXAMPLE, AN EXAMPLE OF INTERNAL BALANCE BREAKING?

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

HERE AGAIN THERE IS A CLAIM BACKED UP WITH NOTHING. IT CONTRADICTS WHAT O'SENSIE SAID AND DID. IT CONTRADICTS WHAT SAOTOME WROTE ETC. FOR EXAMPLE, WHERE IS THE INTERNAL UNBALANCING IN AIKI THROW WHERE O'SENSEI DROPS TO BOTH KNEES AND UKES ATTACK MAKES HIM FALL OVER O'SENSEI'S BACK?

To the extent that any of these claims are claims that you make, how do you reconcile them with the quotes I have provided from O'Sensei that seem to contradict them? - This type of training has done nothing but open my eyes to the things he said. I've seen no contradictions.
THIS IS NOT AN ANSWER.

DAN HAS ARGUE THAT O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UKE AND NAGE BUT RATHER AN ONLY THE BODY CONDITIONING THAT HE DESCRIBES. HE CLAIMS THAT THE NEW TRANSLATIONS BY CHRIS PROVE THAT HE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. O'SENSEI DISCUSSED THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UKE AND NAGE REPEATEDLY. THUS THE "ABSOLUTE NON-RESISTANCE" QUOTE. I ASK AGAIN, HOW DO YOU RECONSILE WITH WHAT O'SENSEI SAID? IF YOU CLAIM THAT THE TRANSLATIONS WERE ALL WRONG PROVE IT. BUT DOES THAT MEAN THAT HIS DIRECT STUDENTS WERE LYING TOO?
 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #159
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Lee Price wrote:

Maybe some of you guys should watch the following :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQd_kBse-c&feature=fvst

Pay careful attention to around 2:00 to 2:40 (you may have to watch this a few times)...then think about what you know..or don't...

This is not to insult current teachers but to give Ueshiba the correct level of respect.
Nice video... what was the instruction by O'Sensei to the Ukes? Do we know? Was it "Push with all your strength?" or was it "Keep hold of the Jo under all circumstances!" The latter of which sounds more plausible to me and might explain the twitching movements of the Ukes."

This is a demonstration of grounding ability. The ability to ground feeds into waza. But Aikido still requires leading, blending, and non-resistance. Grounding exercises are just exercises. They don't translate or substitute for waza training, Take Muso Aiki training, Etc. We don't have to be as good at grounding as O'Sensei to be able to do Aikido. Can Dan break a bundle of arrows under his arm? This did happen. Saotome Sensei saw it. Moreover, you don't get to be as good as O'Sensei at this stuff by working exclusively on these grounding exercises. He argue that his system of cooperative training would bring you to the "secret of Aikido."
 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:45 PM   #160
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I am going to respond within the quoted text in bold:

THIS IS NOT AN ANSWER.

DAN HAS ARGUE THAT O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UKE AND NAGE BUT RATHER AN ONLY THE BODY CONDITIONING THAT HE DESCRIBES. HE CLAIMS THAT THE NEW TRANSLATIONS BY CHRIS PROVE THAT HE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. O'SENSEI DISCUSSED THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UKE AND NAGE REPEATEDLY. THUS THE "ABSOLUTE NON-RESISTANCE" QUOTE. I ASK AGAIN, HOW DO YOU RECONSILE WITH WHAT O'SENSEI SAID? IF YOU CLAIM THAT THE TRANSLATIONS WERE ALL WRONG PROVE IT. BUT DOES THAT MEAN THAT HIS DIRECT STUDENTS WERE LYING TOO?
I think that you're taking his comments at much too much of an extreme. Of course, there is a relationship between uke and nage. But that relationship is secondary (in terms of Aiki) to what you're doing inside of yourself. If you try to play off what your partner is doing as your primary approach things just happen too fast, you can't keep up with the changes.

Neither I nor any one else said that all the translations were wrong - but the posting in the Kamae thread clearly illustrates that some of the translations are wrong in certain points and incomplete in others. Also, the context in which you are reading Ueshiba is extremely important - Ueshiba is very hard to read, even in Japanese by native speakers. Most native speakers that I've talked to don't even try for that reason.

Don't get me wrong - some things were clearly lied about (see http://www.koryu.com/library/mskoss3.html for an example) - but most of the time I think that people believed what they were saying. Why wouldn't they? Ueshiba tells Saotome "I studied many martial arts", Saotome tells you - is Saotome lying?

Ueshiba said that he studied many martial arts, which is true, but leaves out the fact that in all but one case that study was of extremely short duration compared to his 20+ years in Daito-ryu. Is that a lie or not?

If you actually practice much Daito-ryu you'll see the connections clearly enough. Sure, there are differences, but there are differences between instructors at hombu as well, or between Saotome and Yamada and Chiba. The differences are really not much larger, and don't effect the basic martial principles.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:48 PM   #161
gregstec
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
This is very confusing. Dan and Matt and others have argued the opposite of what you are arguing:

1) they've argued that there is no difference between Aiki and Aikido. Thus Dan calls it Aiki Do. Thus they claim that Aikido is just another name for the Aiki taken from Takeda.

3) These folks have argue that there is no difference between O'Sensei's teaching before the war and after the war. Notice the comments earlier by Chris about Saito Sensei and the book Budo.

It is very unusual to ban photos and videos from seminars. Without these all we can go by are the words that Dan and others have written. If we weren't supposed to debate their ideas why did they post them in a discussion forum? I have tried very hard to follow the arguments they are making. I'm good at doing that, by the way, I teach people how to do this at the highest levels. My initial posts asking for clarification were met with indignation and demands that I read all the old posts. I did. They are confusing and hard to read. I said so. I was asked to post specific question (it wasn't my idea) and I did so. The questions were not answered. They were reasonable questions. Then the insults started.

Now you claim I'm following the doctrine of my organization blindly. Others have argue that I fail to understand the teachings of Saotome Sensei. How can both be true? For the record, I don't follow anything blindly. That's why I'm asking such hard questions here. For Dan to be right, O'Sensei had to be senile, or else he had to be mistranslated AND his direct students had to be lying about what he taught them, Etc. That'a a hard pill to swallow without something more than what has been presented as evidence.
There are so many different things being bandied about in this thread that I can see where it has to be hard to follow for someone that has not been in the midst of all the different points throughout the previous years. There are also many assumptions and misconceptions based on an honest lack of detailed knowledge of various points that can lead to confusion and even different conclusions.

As Chris stated, if you want a sincere discussion, pick one point and lets start from there. To keep it civil and objective, stop with the coward and commercialism accusations - IMO, you are the one that came into this with an attitude and started slinging the shit - you drop that and show a sincere interest in wanting to know where everyone is coming from, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the cooperative atmosphere that develops - your choice...

Greg
 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #162
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Franziska Costa wrote: View Post
Nice video... what was the instruction by O'Sensei to the Ukes? Do we know? Was it "Push with all your strength?" or was it "Keep hold of the Jo under all circumstances!" The latter of which sounds more plausible to me and might explain the twitching movements of the Ukes.
Have you ever heard about "The Georgia Magnet"?

 
Old 11-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #163
Lee Salzman
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
This is a demonstration of grounding ability. The ability to ground feeds into waza. But Aikido still requires leading, blending, and non-resistance. Grounding exercises are just exercises. They don't translate or substitute for waza training, Take Muso Aiki training, Etc. We don't have to be as good at grounding as O'Sensei to be able to do Aikido. Can Dan break a bundle of arrows under his arm? This did happen. Saotome Sensei saw it. Moreover, you don't get to be as good as O'Sensei at this stuff by working exclusively on these grounding exercises. He argue that his system of cooperative training would bring you to the "secret of Aikido."
What I saw in that video at 2:00-2:40 is all of those things you list, leading, blending, non-resistance, and grounding. I think that is somewhat the point: that we have only barely touched the surface of some of the things O'Sensei was talking about, and that to actually dig deeper we have to literally go beyond the surface appearances of what it looked like he was doing to how he was mentally coordinating himself.

O'Sensei may have been a great martial artist in his own right, but anecdotally, he was not a great teacher. You could say he was a good example of what we can aspire to, but he didn't seem adept at passing on his skills to other, and he did not go to great lengths to relate to his students in ways they could understand him. Very few of his direct students claim to have understood what he was talking about, and quite a few mention that they just wanted him to stop talking so much so they could get on with training.

Saotome Sensei is certainly one of the few people who can be said to have understood O'Sensei with respect to technical ability; I think anyone would have to be crazy to deny that, nor do I think anyone is denying that. But again, why do so few of his students display even an inkling of his ability? Why do Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei bring outside martial artists like Kenji Ushiro, decidedly not an aikidoka, to the summer camps to better relate what they are doing to their students? As Ledyard Sensei has noted elsewhere, why is Saotome Sensei now trying harder to explain things he just earlier hoped students would, in essence, get by osmosis? They are exploring ways to improve the teaching of things, because there are inadequacies and they know their art is in danger of degradation and loss, if it is not already there. I say this as a member of the ASU.

What we are addressing with these things is exactly the teaching problem: how to describe what is going on and how best to teach it to others. We're not changing the end-product, we're not changing the message of the art, we're not changing the foundations; we're just trying to figure out if there is a better way to arrive at these things than what has been passed down to us through official channels. This has meant going back and looking at where O'Sensei got his influences and seeing how he used them to build himself as well as how they helped frame what he was saying. This is not subverting him, this is rather trying to better understand where he was coming from.

You are setting up and attacking straw-men here.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 11-11-2011 at 07:09 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 07:11 PM   #164
Fred Little
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Talking Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Just read this quote this morning and enjoyed it:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." ~ Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)
Allen, you really shouldn't have mentioned Herbert Spencer. You see, I just finished transcribing this big batch of articles written by some guy named Minakata who that appeared in a little bitty magazine Mr. Spencer sorta, kinda, co-founded called NATURE. This makes even mentioning Spencer in my virtual presence almost as bad as putting an ounce or two of blow on Charlie Sheen's coffee table. But I'll say no more about that and just let Minakata-sama speak for himself:

Quote:
Illogicality concerning Ghosts.

MR. HERBERT SPENCER, exposing the various inconsistencies that occur so frequently in the ghost-stories of the savage races, says:--"How illogicalities so extreme are possible, we shall the more easily see on recalling certain of our own illogicalities. Instance . . . that familiar absurdity fallen into by believers in ghosts, who, admitting that ghosts are seen clothed, admit, by implication that coats have ghosts--an implication they had not perceived." ("The Principles of Sociology," 3rd edition, vol. i. p. 104). It seems interesting to note that the same opinion was expressed about nineteen centuries ago by the Chinese philosopher Wang Chung (circa, 27-97 A.D.), whose skeptic remarks on the traditions of all manners, handed down to his time in the Middle Kingdom, form a celebrated work named "Lun Han" or "Balance of Discussions." In its twentieth book (fol. 14-15 in Miura's edition, Kyoto, 1748), he says:--"Since the beginning of the world, so vast has been the number of the deceased, that it enormously exceeds that of the whole present population. Therefore, should every one become a ghost after death, man is bound now to meet a ghost at each step on the road, and should he see ghosts in his dying moments, he ought to find not one or two singly, but several millions of them collectively filling the space. When a man dies by a weapon, his blood, the essence of his life, turns to what is termed ignus-fatuus, which has no resemblance to him, but gathering itself into an amorphous mass, looks like the light of fire. It is the ghost of blood, and presents an aspect quite different from a live man's blood, and as the essence of life has been separated from the man's body, it cannot resume his shape in life. If all ghosts be seen in the form of dead corpses, you have reason to suspect the dead to become the ghost. . . . And, equally, a disordered fellow might be true in seeing a ghost of his live friend visiting him. But how could he see a dead man in his shape of lifetime? . . . . As warm ashes, even after the fire has gone out, can be made to produce it again, we may with some reason suggest the possibility of a dead man appearing in the same form as alive. When we know well, however, that a fire once extinguished can never burn anew, it is evident that a dead man can never become a ghost. And now, what is the ghost? All say it is the soul of a deceased. Then, even if it could be seen by man, it ought to appear stark naked and fully disrobed: for the clothes have no soul to cover the dead man's soul; while the latter has no material body to put on a material raiment. Soul is an outcome of blood and breath, which, though dependent on body during man's life, are the things distinct from it; hence it might be still well to suppose soul able to survive body as a ghost. But the clothes consist of nothing but threads, cotton, hemp and silk, which have all no intercurrence of blood and breath imparted by the wearer's body; nor do they possess any blood and breath of their own; so that even when they keep their for entirely, they are as soulless as a human corpse; and how could they resume their former shape after their total decomposition? Thus, saying that a ghost appears clad necessitates the admission of its possession of body; which view itself militates against the definition of the ghost, because, according to this statement, the said ghost is a composite of the ghosts of body and clothes, which is essentially different from the soul of a deceased individual."
It is curious to observe that Wang Chung himself is quite illogical in esteeming it just to suppose a ghost able to appear only divested: for, according to his own proposition, the soul exists only in blood and breath; while the body, though very closely connected with them during life, is, after death, as severed from them as the ever lifeless and soulless clothes; so that, should it be necessary for a ghost to appear divested, it would be equally so to appear disembodied at the same time.
KUMAGUSU MINAKATA
April 2, 1900

NO. 1589, VOL. 61, NATURE
And just to bring this marginally back on topic, inasmuch as the meta-topic is the failure of Ueshiba M.'s students to understand and/or transmit what was central to his art, one cannot help but wonder if perhaps Ueshiba M. had the same problem with what was central to Minakata's arts and sciences.

We now return you to the episode 5486 of our continuing series, "Rock the Weeble."

Best,

Fred

 
Old 11-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #165
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
What we are addressing with these things is exactly the teaching problem: how to describe what is going on and how best to teach it to others. We're not changing the end-product, we're not changing the message of the art, we're not changing the foundations; we're just trying to figure out if there is a better way to arrive at these things than what has been passed down to us through official channels. This has meant going back and looking at where O'Sensei got his influences and seeing how he used them to build himself as well as how they helped frame what he was saying. This is not subverting him, this is rather trying to better understand where he was coming from.
Yes, exactly.

People are interested in what Dan has to say because he has isolated a particular element and developed a way to teach it. Likewise Popkin Sensei. Likewise Ushiro Sensei. Likewise plenty of other teachers. None of these teachers are aikidoka, and because of that they are not necessarily going to use -- or even agree with -- the vocabulary and training paradigms that aikidoka are accustomed to. But that doesn't make their knowledge any less valuable.

Katherine
 
Old 11-11-2011, 07:55 PM   #166
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Allen, you really shouldn't have mentioned Herbert Spencer. You see, I just finished transcribing this big batch of articles written by some guy named Minakata who that appeared in a little bitty magazine Mr. Spencer sorta, kinda, co-founded called NATURE. This makes even mentioning Spencer in my virtual presence almost as bad as putting an ounce or two of blow on Charlie Sheen's coffee table. But I'll say no more about that and just let Minakata-sama speak for himself:

And just to bring this marginally back on topic, inasmuch as the meta-topic is the failure of Ueshiba M.'s students to understand and/or transmit what was central to his art, one cannot help but wonder if perhaps Ueshiba M. had the same problem with what was central to Minakata's arts and sciences.

We now return you to the episode 5486 of our continuing series, "Rock the Weeble."

Best,

Fred
Dear Fred,

I am so very, very sorry. I had no idea! I shall attempt never, ever to mention "certain people" around you ever again!

"Rock a bye weeble . . ."

shhh, shhhh . . . .

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #167
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Ken "Debate Over" McGrew all that he claims is that he is able to read. Well then he should do a lot more reading. Try Amdur's "Hidden in Plain Sight," for starters.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:05 PM   #168
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
There are so many different things being bandied about in this thread that I can see where it has to be hard to follow for someone that has not been in the midst of all the different points throughout the previous years. There are also many assumptions and misconceptions based on an honest lack of detailed knowledge of various points that can lead to confusion and even different conclusions.

As Chris stated, if you want a sincere discussion, pick one point and lets start from there. To keep it civil and objective, stop with the coward and commercialism accusations - IMO, you are the one that came into this with an attitude and started slinging the shit - you drop that and show a sincere interest in wanting to know where everyone is coming from, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the cooperative atmosphere that develops - your choice...

Greg
I have. Look at th detailed responses I've provided.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:17 PM   #169
Ken McGrew
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This is different from earlier statements made by yourself, Dan, Mark, and others have made. It's much milder than statements made even earlier in this thread. I haven't misread the bold claims that u have made. Maybe some of your folks need to soften your language of you don't mean what you say.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that you're taking his comments at much too much of an extreme. Of course, there is a relationship between uke and nage. But that relationship is secondary (in terms of Aiki) to what you're doing inside of yourself. If you try to play off what your partner is doing as your primary approach things just happen too fast, you can't keep up with the changes.

Neither I nor any one else said that all the translations were wrong - but the posting in the Kamae thread clearly illustrates that some of the translations are wrong in certain points and incomplete in others. Also, the context in which you are reading Ueshiba is extremely important - Ueshiba is very hard to read, even in Japanese by native speakers. Most native speakers that I've talked to don't even try for that reason.

Don't get me wrong - some things were clearly lied about (see http://www.koryu.com/library/mskoss3.html for an example) - but most of the time I think that people believed what they were saying. Why wouldn't they? Ueshiba tells Saotome "I studied many martial arts", Saotome tells you - is Saotome lying?

Ueshiba said that he studied many martial arts, which is true, but leaves out the fact that in all but one case that study was of extremely short duration compared to his 20+ years in Daito-ryu. Is that a lie or not?

If you actually practice much Daito-ryu you'll see the connections clearly enough. Sure, there are differences, but there are differences between instructors at hombu as well, or between Saotome and Yamada and Chiba. The differences are really not much larger, and don't effect the basic martial principles.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-11-2011 at 08:19 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #170
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Other people need to "soften their language?" I seem to recall it was someone else who called everyone else here "Cowards" when he didn't understand the difference between splitting off a thread and censoring. Here's something that would help civil discourse: when you make a mistake and issue an insult in the course of it, you take it back when you realize you were wrong. Because you were wrong.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #171
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
This is different from earlier statements made by yourself, Dan, Mark, and others have made. It's much milder than statements made even earlier in this thread. I haven't misread the bold claims that u have made. Maybe some of your folks need to soften your language of you don't mean what you say.
Well, you'll have to point out which ones you're talking about if you want me to comment on that.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #172
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
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Lee Price wrote:

Maybe some of you guys should watch the following :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQd_kBse-c&feature=fvst

Pay careful attention to around 2:00 to 2:40 (you may have to watch this a few times)...then think about what you know..or don't...

This is not to insult current teachers but to give Ueshiba the correct level of respect.
Nice video... what was the instruction by O'Sensei to the Ukes? Do we know? Was it "Push with all your strength?" or was it "Keep hold of the Jo under all circumstances!" The latter of which sounds more plausible to me and might explain the twitching movements of the Ukes."

This is a demonstration of grounding ability. The ability to ground feeds into waza. But Aikido still requires leading, blending, and non-resistance. Grounding exercises are just exercises. They don't translate or substitute for waza training, Take Muso Aiki training, Etc. We don't have to be as good at grounding as O'Sensei to be able to do Aikido. Can Dan break a bundle of arrows under his arm? This did happen. Saotome Sensei saw it. Moreover, you don't get to be as good as O'Sensei at this stuff by working exclusively on these grounding exercises. He argue that his system of cooperative training would bring you to the "secret of Aikido."
Hya Ken

I'm not going to say your wrong..actually your very right in some ways. I strongly believe theres a lot more to this than most people realise (or are willing to say/talk about ..especially on a public forum). I will say that if you watch the video closely near the beginning some of his uke are lying on the floor literally stunned...to be fair I don't think the vast majority of todays practioners need to experience something like that in regular practise...thats not to take away from his/or others ability to be truly martial..which is of course the ability to harm/even kill...but yes how much ability is necessary? or what should usual practise be like/need to be like for your average person? hence the situation we have today with lets say a watered down version for the masses...that anyone can do without huge amounts of work and kind of feel good about..

On the other hand of course, having the ability to really dial up or down is like being able to play all the piano instead of just 10 keys...people can really stand out without the need to batter anyone or power them into the mat. Sadly I think some practioners of old did no favors to the future of the art when they proper floored people sometimes (though there is the arguement its shows the potential of aiki..) but give porsche keys to some people and they just want to put their foot on the accelerator all the time with little or no concern for others...

I will say this..Ueshiba's aikido encompassed far more than just body training...imho he was very honest....thats something for us to think about....
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #173
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Dear Fred,

I am so very, very sorry. I had no idea! I shall attempt never, ever to mention "certain people" around you ever again!

"Rock a bye weeble . . ."

shhh, shhhh . . . .

Allen
Dear Allen,

Thank you ever so much!

And lest you think that many late nights of insane editorial labors have somehow diminished my mad skillz, let me assure you that my reference to "Minakata who that" (which you so kindly reproduced in toto) was not in fact evidence of an incredibly careless and sloppy error due to lack of attention on my part, but in fact, a cunning reference to Minakata's long unacknowledged 1891 discovery of several pages of a lost manuscript on creole wordplay which Lafcadio Hearn, late of New Orleans, had apparently left abandoned in the bottom drawer of a dilapidated Martinique hotel room dresser drawer in the West Indies sometime between 1887 and 1889. While broad national, nay international awareness of the New Orleans Saints' fans as the "Whodat Nation" is now commonplace, the more esoteric connection between this New Orleanian chant and the more colloquial Wakayama -ben reading of "有出," or "yuu da" (damn snow monkeys ran off with my macrons again, can you believe it?) referring to twilight situations in which thusness issues forth (presumably from voidness, but experts differ on the particular and necessary versus merely useful epistemic understanding of this ejaculation, so let us not speak of yobai in mixed company), the relationship between Sarutahiko Omikami and Amenouzume as a manifestation equivalent to that of Ellegua and Erzulie Danthor and clearly understood as such by both Hearn before his death and Minakata on his return to Wakayama....but I have said too much already and knowing that a nod is as good as wink to a blind horse I will leave it at that without trusting too much that sleep will actually come simply because it should.

What is certain is that while Greil Marcus probably does know precisely who put the bomp in the bomp da bomp, AND who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong, (and don't get me wrong, Greil has always written beautifully), dancing about architecture never got so much as a one hole addition on a two hole outhouse built, desu nee?

Best,

Fred

 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #174
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Lee, the argument that Dan and others have made is not that teachers have failed to communicate what they knew but that modem Aikido is 1) no good, and 2) no one after O'Sensei (or maybe Saito Sensei) could do Aikido as O'Sensei wanted. It's not a straw man that I've set up. It is what they have said. They've made numerous claims. When I disproved their arguments they did not answer. They still haven't answered. Now Chris, and yourself, are pretending the bold claims weren't made.

Let me be clear. I do not accept that most students of Saotome can't do Aikido well. For that matter I don't see the lack of alleged Aikido ability in other post-war organizations either. I prefer some Aikido over other Aikido, but it's basically good most places that I've gone. That people accept the argument that it's so terrible says more about what they want Aikido to be than any problem with Aikido. Aikido is not good for cage fighting.

For the record, I have gone to many seminars with Saotome Sensei. He's no more or less understandable than he has been in the past. His books and videos are easy to understand with a small effort. His descriptions at seminars are also easily understood once you have an idea of where he's coming from and get used to his way of speaking. If there is a problem it is that people don't always do what Sensei says. If we follow the system O'sensei developed we will progress in our ability. This is not my opinion. This is what Saotome Sensei said. This is what O'Sensei told him.

It is noteworthy that Dan has said he doesn't think much of Ushiro Sensei. We can conclude then that what Dan does is quite different from what Ikeda Sensei does, or at least that Dan thinks so. I know exactly why Ikeda Sensei has engaged in friendship seminars because he told me. But I'm not going to discuss it here. He does not value Ushiro Sensei because he thinks we completely missed the boat after the war. It is not because he thinks his Aikido or Saotome's Aikido was deficient. At his level he wants to explore. It does not mean that he is against cooperative waza training. I know because I asked him to show the application of breaking inner balance to strikes at a seminar I hosted and he made quite clear the difference between exercises and the application of skills to movement training. He says it is necessary to break balance internally and externally. Internal is another way. It is not the only correct way, according to Ikeda Sensei. Your claims that both Ikeda and Saotome Sensei's see "the inadequacies" of their art is not what they have told me.

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Saotome Sensei is certainly one of the few people who can be said to have understood O'Sensei with respect to technical ability; I think anyone would have to be crazy to deny that, nor do I think anyone is denying that. But again, why do so few of his students display even an inkling of his ability? Why do Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei bring outside martial artists like Kenji Ushiro, decidedly not an aikidoka, to the summer camps to better relate what they are doing to their students? As Ledyard Sensei has noted elsewhere, why is Saotome Sensei now trying harder to explain things he just earlier hoped students would, in essence, get by osmosis? They are exploring ways to improve the teaching of things, because there are inadequacies and they know their art is in danger of degradation and loss, if it is not already there. I say this as a member of the ASU.

What we are addressing with these things is exactly the teaching problem: how to describe what is going on and how best to teach it to others. We're not changing the end-product, we're not changing the message of the art, we're not changing the foundations; we're just trying to figure out if there is a better way to arrive at these things than what has been passed down to us through official channels. This has meant going back and looking at where O'Sensei got his influences and seeing how he used them to build himself as well as how they helped frame what he was saying. This is not subverting him, this is rather trying to better understand where he was coming from.

You are setting up and attacking straw-men here.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-11-2011 at 09:11 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:39 PM   #175
gregstec
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I have. Look at th detailed responses I've provided.
We said pick one point and start from there - you are all over the place with you arguments and you continue with your arrogance even after numerous attempts by those you attacked to move on in a more civil manner. You continue to place Saotome and Ikeda up on a level as someone to emulate with no fault - well, I have had hands on both of them, and not to demean them in any manner as they both are very talented, but neither one has what Dan has as far as aiki - and there are other senior 5th and 6th dan ASU members that feel the same way as is evidenced by them training with Dan as well.

As I said, if you don't agree, and cannot discuss in a civil and logical manner, move on - this stuff is not for you.

Greg
 

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